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Listeria outbreak linked to cheese

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St. Paul, MINNESOTA (WXOW) - Minnesota health officials are investigating a Listeria outbreak that has been linked to cheese.

The Minnesota Health Department says the cheese was made by Crave Brother's Farmstead Classics Cheese in Wisconsin.

The investigation is ongoing but there are cases in at least three other states.

Two people in Minnesota so far have become ill. Both were older adults. They became ill in early June. Both were hospitalized and one died.

The Department of Agriculture is testing samples of the cheese and early results indicate presence of Listeria; confirmation is pending.

Health officials are warning consumers who may have purchased these cheeses: Les Frères, Petit Frère, Petit Frère with Truffles and still have it in their refrigerators to not eat it until more information becomes available from the investigation.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has advised grocery stores and distributors to pull and not sell the products until further information is available.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease affects primarily older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and persons with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. Symptoms often begin 3 weeks after infection, but it could take anywhere from 3 to 70 days.

Anyone who believes they may have become ill with listeriosis should contact their health care provider.

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